Elegy with a Chinese Checkerboard
An old man lifts a lime tree, ashes
fall from his cigarette like asterisks.
He doesn’t look up.
Our forms of bodies and strollers map
into the land. Cement steams against
stucco torsos and unblinking
blades of new sod. We are latched to this
landscape, where trees need
wooden sticks to stand straight, where workers
trim thistle on the trail,
each day working their way westward,
where fields are
aerated into a Chinese checkerboard,
plugs of brown dirt
lost like confetti, like something to